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Within the township of Teesdale there are several nature reserves and recently I visited the Teesdale Grassy Woodlands Reserve. It is a remnant of 25 Ha and adjoins the Don Wallace Reserve, that has the local sporting facilities. Many people would pass by on the main road and not be aware that this patch of endangered vegetation exists.
There are a few walking trails to follow if you are tempted to visit and enjoy a walk under the sheoaks and eucalypts. I last visited this reserve years ago in the spring and there were lots of wildflowers to see.
It was interesting to see that there is a grazing trial in operation, using sheep to keep the grass down to reduce the fire risk. In other areas ecological burning is carried out. Here is a link to the fire management plan.
It is time to remind you about the CCMA photo competition. I hope you have been thinking about this over the holidays and have your photos ready to send in. This is one way to spread the word about the native biodiversity of the Victorian Volcanic Plains.
The Victorian Volcanic Plains come to life in spring and to show how amazing the wildflowers, plants and animals are on the basalt plains, the Corangamite CMA is running a photo competition. Everyone is welcome to enter. There are three categories:
- Wildflowers, plants and landscapes
- Photos taken by 12 years and younger
Sign up to the Corangamite CMA Facebook and Blog to view the entries during the competition. The winning photo for each category will receive a $50 CSIRO book voucher!!
- Photographs must be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 23 February, 2018.
- Photographs must have been taken within the Victorian Volcanic Plains bioregion. If you wish to look at a map of the VVP bioregion visit https://victorianvolcanicplainscmn.wordpress.com/about/maps/
- Photographs may have been taken at any time.
- Photographs may be taken digitally, using film or phone cameras.
- The photographs must be print quality.
- All photographs submitted are released for Corangamite CMA to use for future promotional purposes.
Early in November the Field Naturalist Club of Ballarat visited a property at Chepstowe, near Snake Valley to see how the landholder combines farming with the management of high quality native grasslands – link to story
About a month ago on a rare trip through the city, we stopped off at Burnley Gardens beside the Yarra River. These gardens in Swan Street Richmond, date back to 1861 when the Horticulture Society of Victoria established experimental gardens. The aim was to introduce new plants to the colonies, and to promote botanical and horticultural science. It is now a campus of University of Melbourne and subjects relating to horticulture are still taught.
The site includes some of the oldest trees in Melbourne but there is also a small section of native plants tucked away behind the buildings. Under some original River Red Gums, great use is made of native grasses and other small grassland plants. There are some beautiful small pools and the area provides inspiration for using native grassland and wetland plants in the home garden. The gardens are easily accessible by public transport.
If you have visited Geelong Botanic Gardens you would have seen the display of native grasses as you drive up to the carpark and main entrance. There is also a small planting inside the entrance with a few VVP grassland species.
Ballarat Botanic Gardens also has moved to include indigenous plants in one of their display gardens. It is so new the plants are still marked with stakes. They have also undertaken to grow the threatened Basalt Peppercress which is an interesting development. We need to promote examples of where to see grassland plants so more are used in landscaping and home gardens and people begin to understand what the rest of us are on about.
Teesdale Cemetery has large areas of kangaroo grass which have been left to go to seed and only the main areas around the graves have been mown. In late summer the grass will probably be burnt to maintain the grassland in good health.
In spring there are usually masses of Golden Moth Orchids but it appears that African Weed-orchid is also established. The distinctive brown spent seed-heads were visible earlier this week. Take care not to spread this weed if you are visiting this cemetery.